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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Glass slippers
    Do you have an old prom dress in your closet or maybe a bridesmaid dress that the bride swore you’d wear again – and we all know you haven’t? So many formal items are great for that one event then they never get worn or used again. Instead of letting them languish in closet purgatory, take those items and donate them to make some high school student’s prom a bit more magical.

    Getting ready for prom is an expensive enterprise – between the dresses, shoes, make up and hair. It's enough to turn any girl’s coach into a pumpkin. The Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun is here to help though, by being Fairy Godmothers to the entire county. They are holding their 13th annual Prom Wishes drive to make sure every Cinderella gets to go to the ball. Just gather up your shoes, dresses, purses, jewelry and other accessories, along with any unopened make up you might have lying around, and take it to the Sterling Community Center on Enterprise Street by March 9. In addition to clearing out your closet and helping girls in our area have a fantastic prom, you’ll get a tax deduction for your donation. The best part? There’s not an evil stepmother in sight.

    Then from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 14, the club will host a spectacular prom boutique for all teenage girls at the Teen Center, Rust Library, in Leesburg. There the girls will find the perfect dress with all the trimmings for the night they’ll never forget. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you want to register for a shopping time you can visit http://www.jwcl.wufoo.com/forms/jwcl-prom-wishes-2015.

    Want to know more about Prom Wishes? Go to jwcl.org/home/prom-wishes or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to learn more about the program or how you can help.

    Our local theatre group, the Sterling Playmakers, put on a wonderful show this weekend, and so many of you came out to support them. Even though the weather put a damper on their third performance of “The Bad Girls of Western Lit,” the show had full audiences on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Now we’ll just have to impatiently wait for their next show, “Noises Off,” which opens April 10 and has two weekends of shows. Also mark your calendars for auditions coming up in April for the big summer musical, “Music Man”. To learn more about what the Playmakers are up to next, visit http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com.

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: All Things Seussical
    Last week, at the end of what seemed to be an endless work day, I was sitting in slow-moving traffic behind a car with a license plate that read “Sam I Am.” Thoughts of green eggs and ham instantly swirled up in my mind, launching a cascade of silliness that carried me most of the way home.

    The three words, using a mere four letters, triggered vivid memories of the series of simple rhymes in the Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham”—and led me to wonder how much of the story I could recite at that very moment. They also amazed me with the realization that countless priceless, precious and amusing family memories would forever be attached to them.

    The next time I had a few spare minutes, I did a little research into “Green Eggs and Ham.”

    According to a Nov. 2014 report in Publishers Weekly, “Green Eggs and Ham,” first published in 1960, has been the top book read by first graders for the past three years. The book in the number two spot on the list is “The Foot Book,” also by Dr. Seuss. In addition, “Green Eggs and Ham” is the No. 1 most-read book for second graders.

    In 2012, “Green Eggs and Ham” was selected by a public vote as the 110 millionth new book to be donated to a child from a low-income family by First Book, a nonprofit literacy organization. A total of 14,000 ballots were cast. In celebration of the milestone, the book was donated to children at Martha’s Table, a nonprofit community organization in Washington that works to meet the needs of homeless and low-income children. The launch of First Book, which led to 100 million book donations, was inspired by the work done at Martha’s Table.

    It has been reported that Theodor Seuss Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss, wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” as a result of a bet with his publisher, Bennett Cerf. The bet was that he could not write a book containing only 50 words. Fifty-five years later, it’s very clear that Geisel won that bet, in more ways than the two of them ever could have imagined.

    On March 2, youngsters can celebrate the 111th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss at the Cascades branch of the Loudoun County Public Library. At 11 a.m., the library presents silly stories, songs and activities for preschoolers. From 4 to 6 p.m., youngsters in grades K-5 can spend an afternoon in Seussville, making silly crafts from the “wubbulous” world of Dr. Seuss. For information, call 703-444-3228.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com.
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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Frozen: The running water blues
    At about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, at about the same time a pipe was bursting in the control tower at Dulles Airport, a water pipe in a multifamily residential building was bursting in eastern Loudoun. It was the second pipe malfunction of the evening at the eastern Loudoun property, and it would be followed by a third pipe failure at another building on the site the next morning.

    The two significant cold snaps of the past few days have caused quite a few water pipe problems, and a third bout of extremely cold weather is headed our way. If you haven’t done so already, this is a good time to review tips from the experts to prevent water damage during cold weather.

    In its advice to consumers, Loudoun Water points out that water expands as it freezes, which can put tremendous stress on anything containing it, such as metal or plastic pipes. The pipes most likely to freeze, according to the water agency, are those exposed to severe cold weather, including outdoor hose bibs and water supply pipes in unheated areas (kitchen cabinets, basements, garages).

    Among the tips from Loudoun Water:

    Open the cabinets beneath any place with a water supply, such as kitchen and bathroom sinks, to allow warm air to circulate. If there are small children in the home, remove any toxic substances from the area.

    Allow a faucet to drip cold water slowly, to prevent pipes from freezing. Choose the faucet that is the greatest distance from the main water shut-off valve.

    Know where the main shut-off valve is and label it. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to shut off the water in case of an emergency.

    If it has been very cold for a period of time and you turn on a faucet and find only a trickle of water, or no water at all, suspect a frozen pipe or meter. Identify whether the problem is throughout the home or only in one area.

    If the problem is in only one area of your home, Loudoun Water offers some online advice at loudounwater.org that may help.

    If there is no water in your home, or if you think you may have a frozen water pipe or meter and have determined that it is not within your home, call Loudoun Water at 571-291-7880 (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or after hours at 571-291-7878. In this situation, always contact Loudoun Water before contacting a plumber.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com.
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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Matters of the Heart
    STERLING BOULEVARD:  Love is in the air
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Music Man at River Bend
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Hearts aflame at the Cascades Library
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Ch-ch-changes
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Senior Center Creates a Community
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Oh deer
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Grants for Eastern Loudoun Classrooms
    STERLING BOULEVARD:  Cookies versus crackers
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: On stage, on the court, out of the cold
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